Pakistani terrorism in Kashmir to figure in NSA talks: MEA

New Delhi: Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir will be the subject of the August 23-24 India-Pakistan NSA-level talks, the external affairs ministry said on Friday, as the Pakistani envoy said Islamabad will not “abandon” the Kashmiri people’s “legitimate struggle for freedom”.

“The only struggle in J&K is against Pakistani sponsored terrorism. This will be the subject of the upcoming NSA level talks,” ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted in response to a query regarding the Pakistani envoy’s speech on Friday.

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Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit in his remarks to mark his country’s Independence Day said: “Aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir could neither be ignored nor put on the back burner. No matter how much more time their legitimate struggle takes, Pakistan will never abandon Kashmiris and their cause.”

He said “Pakistan has always wanted to have a normal and cooperative relationship with India”.

“To this end, it was necessary to settle all the outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to improve relations.”

Basit’s remarks come a day after Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz confirmed that he will attend the NSA talks with India’s Ajit Doval here.